Great White (aka The Last Shark)

1975 classic Jaws has long faced criticism over how unconvincing the mechanical shark looks – but that’s nothing compared to 1981 Italian production Great White (alternatively known as The Last Shark), which blends a laughably unrealistic oversized puppet with live shark footage that clearly doesn’t match. Director Enzo G. Castellari’s film was barred from theatrical release in the US on grounds that it plagiarized Jaws.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Infamous low-budget production house The Asylum announced themselves as the new kings of the schlockbusters with 2009’s Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. The film quickly gained notoriety over its absurd SFX sequences which include a gargantuan shark biting the Golden Gate Bridge, and leaping through the air to attack a plane. The casting of one-time 80s pop superstar Debbie Gibson only increased the novelty value.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon

16 years before The Meg arrived, 2002’s Shark Attack 3: Megalodon brought the oversized ancestor of the Great White to screens – albeit to somewhat different effect. The direct-to-video sequel boasts a derivative script and hilariously bad FX, yet leading man John Barrowman manages to steal the shark’s spotlight with his high-camp performance – the highlight being one infamous ad-libbed line of dialogue we won’t repeat here…


After 55 years in the B-movie business, producer Roger Corman proved he hadn’t lost its touch with 2010’s Sharktopus. Produced for TV network SyFy, it features exactly what you expect: a low-grade CGI shark/octopus hybrid, whose only motivation is to eat anything in a swimsuit. This gleefully absurd effort spawed two sequels: 2014’s Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda and 2015’s Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf.

2-Headed Shark Attack

The Asylum did it again with 2012’s 2-Headed Shark Attack, another low-rent schlockbuster whose title says it all: there’s a shark with two heads, and it’s attacking people, including such minor celebs as Carmen Electra and Brooke Hogan. It proved a winning formula, spawning sequels in 2015’s 3-Headed Shark Attack, 2017’s 5-Headed Shark Attack and 2018’s 6-Headed Shark Attack (who knows why they skipped four.)

Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre

Directed and co-written by prolific B-movie maker Jim Wynorski, 2016’s Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre is, as the title suggests, a blend of a women in prison thriller with a shark attack movie in the unlikely setting of swampy Arkansas. Another SyFy original TV movie, it’s nowhere near as gory or sleazy as a lot of Wynorski’s movies, but it’s enjoyable in its self-conscious stupidity.

Sand Sharks

Sharks that swim? Pah! Just stay on the beach and you’re fine. But what about sharks that live in the sand…? That’s the premise of 2011 straight-to-video release Sand Sharks, in which your standard small town beach community is threatened by giant hungry killer fish that are somehow under the beach itself. Stargate SG-1’s Corin Nemec and Brooke Hogan (her again) head up the cast.

Ghost Shark

Surely if you stay away from the beach completely sharks can’t get you, right? Wrong! The aquatic terror can still come and get you anywhere – if it’s a ghost! Yet another SyFy original, 2013’s Ghost Shark features a phantom Great White out for revenge against its human killers, whom it can reach via any small body of water, from a bathtub to a drinking glass.

Jaws: The Revenge

No discussion of hilariously absurd shark movies could be complete without mentioning the film that killed the Jaws franchise: 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge. Lightyears apart from the iconic original, director Joseph Sargent’s fourth instalment boasts a vengeful, roaring, leaping shark that follows the Brody family to the Bahamas. Deranged, nonsensical and totally illogical, it’s one of the silliest movies ever produced by a major studio.


With a few trash-tastic shark movies to their name already, The Asylum and SyFy struck B-movie gold with 2013’s Sharknado, a mix of shark thriller and disaster movie centered on a bizarre weather phenomenon: tornadoes with sharks in them. Starring Tara Reid and John Heard, it proved an unexpected smash, becoming a pop culture phenomenon and spawning five sequels, plus equally madcap spin-off series Lavantula.

Spring Break Shark Attack

A 2005 TV movie made for CBS, Spring Break Shark Attack is another of those great aquatic shockers whose title says it all. It follows a bunch of youngsters who head to Florida for Spring Break, only to find themselves under attack from – would you believe it – a school of sharks. The film was sold on the catchy tagline, “this year, Spring Break really bites!”

Planet of the Sharks

Ever watched Kevin Costner’s 1995 post-apocalyptic epic Waterworld and thought, “this needs sharks?” Clearly, top brass at The Asylum had that very idea, as that’s essentially what they made (albeit on a fraction of the budget) in 2016’s Planet of the Sharks, which sees humanity’s last survivors trapped at sea. Unlike Waterworld, this film got a sequel in 2017’s Empire of the Sharks.

Jurassic Shark

As the title plays on the classic dinosaur blockbuster, one might hope that 2012’s Jurassic Shark (another early Megalodon movie, pre-dating 2017’s The Meg) would be made on a comparable budget to Spielberg’s classic. This, of course, is not the case. The 2012 Canadian production looks like it was made for the price of a Happy Meal, with hilariously terrible SFX and even worse performances.

Land Shark

Most contemporary shark movies play up their inherent absurdity with knowingly unconvincing CGI. 2017’s Land Shark goes one better, presenting its antagonist – a shark that can swim on land – in an even less convincing puppet form. It may or may not be coincidence that, within a few years of this self-consciously dumb US production, a bigger budget Chinese movie called Land Shark was also produced.

Jaws in Japan

Renamed Psycho Shark in some territories to avoid confusion (and legal action), 2009’s Jaws in Japan is, of course, a Japanese shark attack movie. Or at least, part of it is. The remainder is a weird, illogical found footage horror in which bikini-clad women fend off a hotel-based serial killer. It’s all very strange, incoherent and silly even before the laughable CG shark shows up.

Ice Sharks

For the benefit of those who feel that sharks at the beach are a bit old hat, how about Great White killers bursting through the ice of the Arctic? 2016 TV movie Ice Sharks sees a research scientist team come under attack from ravenous sharks from under the ice. Believe it or not, some sharks really do live in Arctic waters, so you never know…

Alien Shark

2022’s Alien Shark centers on a group of friends enjoying a party weekend at the beach, when a meteor hits, and a malicious alien force with the ability to control living things takes possession of the mightiest predator it can find: a Great White. Luckily, one of the humans is a newly trained soldier, who can give the alien shark a bit of a fight.

Shark in Venice

It’s surely impossible to traverse any city with as much water in it as Venice, and not worry about shark attacks. 2008 direct-to-DVD production Shark in Venice explores that premise – although it was really shot in Bulgaria, and not the iconic Italian city itself. One-time big name actor Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects, Bio-Dome) takes the lead as a man searching for his missing father.

Shark Exorcist

If you ask us, they missed an opportunity by not simply calling this one ‘Sharxorcist,’ but maybe not all viewers would have got it. A low budget production which enjoyed a limited US theatrical release but went straight to DVD everywhere else, 2015’s Shark Exorcist sees a Great White possessed by the Devil. Is it possible to turn the whole ocean to holy water?

Shark Side of the Moon

A 2022 original production for streaming platform Tubi, Shark Side of the Moon is a shark movie with a twist: it’s based around half-man, half-shark hybrids bred by the Soviets during the Cold War, who were sent to live on the moon and now pose a threat to a crew of new lunar explorers. A delightfully schlocky sci-fi spectacle ensues.


The handiwork of prolific no-budget monster movie maker Mark Polonia, 2016’s Sharkenstein is of course an aquatic, sharp-toothed spin on the legendary horror character Frankenstein. Drawing on lost research from World War II, a mad scientist builds a monstrous super-shark from pieces of other sharks because… well, because he’s a mad scientist, that’s just what they do, okay?


A 2010 SyFy original from legendary producer Roger Corman, Dinoshark sees a baby shark experimentally injected with dinosaur DNA. Naturally the little sucker gets loose, and doesn’t stay little for long. With a $2 million budget, this one looks like Avatar compared to a lot of the cheap and nasty entries on this list, but it’s still as unrepentantly silly as the rest of them.

Noah’s Shark

Anyone who’s ever head the Biblical tale of the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark will doubtless have pondered what happened to all the swimming animals. 2021’s Noah’s Shark (another Mark Polonia film) explores that idea in its own profoundly silly way. Some religious people might take offence, but most viewers will be too busy laughing at how patently absurd it all is.

Avalanche Sharks

2014 SyFy original Avalanche Sharks moves your standard shark movie set-up from the beach to a ski resort, with supernatural sharks that move through the snow. As a crop of amorous college kids who descend upon the mountain during (when else?) Spring Break, the slopes run red with blood, and even the hot tub offers no escape.

House Shark

No-budget horror director Ron Bonk gave the shark movie his own quirky spin with 2017’s House Shark. No prizes for guessing where we find a man-eating Great White in this one. Eschewing the usual CGI, House Shark brings its central monster to life via a massive latex suit, which only heightens the joyful absurdity of it all.

Ouija Shark

Sharks of the Corn


Based on the image above, you might make the entirely reasonable assumption that it comes from a cut-price rip-off of 2004 animated blockbuster Shark’s Tale. In fact, it’s from 2001’s Sharkman, a sci-fi horror TV movie about a half-man, half-shark created by genetic engineering. The title is a tongue-in-cheek play on 90s horror hit Darkman, but surprisingly enough this movie didn’t prove as popular.


Sharkenstein director Mark Polonia does it again, crossing over another classic horror character with sharks in 2022’s Sharkula. When Dracula falls to his death at sea, the legendary vampire’s powers pass into a Great White. If anything, it’s even sillier than it sounds, and the fact that it was made for less than most Hollywood productions spend on catering is all part of the charm.

Toxic Shark

Shark movies always lend themselves well to environmental messages. 2017 SyFy original Toxic Shark serves as a good example of this – whilst also being another example of how silly shark movies get. Our pivotal Great White has been infected by toxic waste, as a result of which the creature not only eats its prey, but can also spray acid at them. Yikes!

Shark! (1969)

1969’s Shark! is noteworthy both as a sharksploitation movie than predates Jaws, and as an early vehicle for future film legend Burt Reynolds. Originally conceived as a treasure hunt adventure, the film was renamed in a rather distasteful effort to cash in on negative publicity after a stuntman working on the film was killed by a shark; a moment which was allegedly captured on film.

Cruel Jaws

Italian exploitation cinema has always had plenty of shameless rip-offs, but few quite so brazen as 1995’s Cruel Jaws. The title aside, director Bruno Matei’s film brazenly recycles footage from numerous pre-existing shark movies, including all four Jaws films. As all the Jaws series footage was stolen without permission from or payment to studio Universal, Cruel Jaws was effectively outlawed in the US until 2020.

Shark Encounters of the Third Kind

Steven Spielberg went from directing 1975’s Jaws to 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, so perhaps it was inevitable that arch schlockmeister Mark Polonia would think to bridge the gap between the two. Polonia’s 2020 film Close Encounters of the Shark Kind sees evil aliens land on Earth, using telepathy to wreak havoc – and what could be more havoc-inducing than mind-controlled sharks?


2016 TV movie Saltwater, starring Married with Children’s David Faustino and seasoned B-movie star Jeff Fahey, centres on a beach community under attack from a radioactive Great White. The film was released to some territories as Atomic Shark, but adopted another name in the USA as – by apparently sheer coincidence – another TV movie entitled Atomic Shark was produced that very same year.

Big Shark

As you’ve doubtless realized by now, stupid low-budget shark movies are ten-a-penny. Perhaps the only way to really make a shark movie stand apart is to put it in the hands of the most legendarily awful filmmaker of all time. Presenting 2023’s Big Shark, the second film from Tommy Wiseau, the infamous writer, director and star of 2003’s The Room. Another future cult classic?

Shark Lake


Trailer Park Shark

Raiders of the Lost Shark

Super Shark

Sky Sharks